Destination / In Residence

Theatre for the senses

Enhance your understanding. Inspired by the Greek word epsitēmē, meaning ‘knowledge and understanding’, Aesop has tapped Netherlands-based conceptual artist Bart Hess to bring the windows of Melbourne’s Bourke Street Myer store to life through seven digital film installations. Each film, one per window, depicts a different Aesop product category: skin, body, hair, personal care, fragrance, travel and home, and the brand’s overarching belief that knowledge is absorbed through the senses.

“In general about what I feel is really important in my work to get across a feeling, so hopefully if you see my work, if it’s an instillation or in this case a series of films, hopefully the viewer can sort of imagine being in the body of the person in this ongoing transformation,” explains Hess. “I tried to sort of envision how the products feel on the body, and recreate materials and manipulation of these materials again.”

“We are exploring the seven product categories of our range and with this broad category mix, the theme of how they interact with the skin and the senses, which is very present in Bart’s work,” says Marsha Meredith, Aesop’s Creative Director. “Traditionally for this particular instillation it has always been a physical interpretation … so this is the first exploration into the digital interpretation of a concept, which has been fascinating for us. And I think it is going to open up doors to much more of this type of work, sort of a deeper, engaging sort of storytelling.”

Audiences are invited to view Epistēmē at the Bourke Street Myer Store, as well as subtle adaptations at Sydney’s Market Street store and Brisbane’s Queen Street store, from now through July 29.